Chandigarh: The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Tuesday asked the state government that “how is everyone arrested, except Amritpal Singh”, adding that “if he has he escaped, this is an intelligence failure”.
The High Court continued hearing a habeas corpus petition filed by the legal advisor of Waris Punjab De, requesting the court to direct the respondents to produce the fugitive self-styled Sikh preacher before it.
A bench of Justice N.S. Shekhawat asked Advocate General Vinod Ghai: “How did he (Amritpal Singh) escape?”
At this, he replied: “We have arrested other accused in the case.”
The bench further asked how everyone, except Amritpal Singh, has been arrested.
“You have 80,000 police. How has he not been arrested? If he escaped, this is an intelligence failure. The entire police force is after him,” said the bench.
Explaining further, the Advocate General said: “It happens sometimes. The G20 summit was also going on.”
The High Court appointed advocate Tanu Bedi as amicus curiae in the case and adjourned the hearing for four days.
It has also sought a status report sought from Punjab.
The Advocate General further informed the court that the stringent NSA has been invoked against Amritpal Singh.
“Amritpal Singh is absconding from the law. Raids have been conducted to apprehend and detain Amritpal Singh but he could not be detained so far and is absconding and concealing himself so the order cannot be executed to arrest and detain Amritpal Singh as per the orders of District Magistrate Amritsar issued under section 3(2) of the National Security Act, 1980.
“In this regard District Magistrate Amritsar has sent a report vide number Reader/DM/1/696 dated 20.03.2023 to the Judicial Magistrate first Class Baba Bakala, Amritsar, Punjab under section 7 (1) (a) of the said act”, said Kuldeep Chahal, Jalandhar Police Commissioner, in his reply.